A Ramble on Writing: Thoughts and Things

laptop-sand whiteit lonely writer

WRITER’S NEED INSPIRATION; conversations, observations, images, thoughts, feelings. Inevitably we run low on it from time to time. You’ve all seen the innumerable quotes littering the web by Author X or Author Y on how they write, what their routine is, the witty remarks captured on photographic backgrounds and they help, they do. But not for longer than a few seconds.

It’s really, really easy to fall into the trap of constantly seeking inspiration by other authors, relying on it even, but the simple truth is they are not you, and you are not they. What works for King, Rowling, Hemingway is not what works for you. Not entirely anyway. Yes they have wisdom to pass on. Yes they are hugely successful (another reason not to compare yourself). Don’t be disappointed if you don’t work well from the crack of dawn in a small hut. Don’t be disappointed if you write 2000 words a day, not 10000. Don’t find fault in yourself, because your writing habits are not aligned with famous authors.

The same applies to self-help books if anyone’s read one. They are written from the point of view of the author. Sure the ideas may be inspiring, but you are not the author. You or I can never replicate the success based on someones advice in a book. Generally the only one the book helps is the author by getting your hard-earned. There’s a wonderful saying: Great sailor, hellish on a boat. As in you can know how to do something, technically, but that’s different from being able to apply it in reality. Reading Robert Mckee’s Story or Stephen King’s On Writing, isn’t going to make you a screenwriter extraordinaire, or a fantastic novelist, all they can do is give you an idea on how it is done, how they did it. And I doubt they are dishing out all their secrets.

Writing is lonely. Writing is tough. Writing is easy. Writing is a contradiction. One thing that will never change is that writing and reading as much as possible are beneficial to the process.

I realise I have unintentionally come across like some guru figure, contradicting myself, but hopefully you get the main message. Disagree? Think I’m talking bullfourletters? Agree vehemently (< I haven’t used that classic word in a while)?

 

lion around 2

25 Comments

  1. Nice post!
    What’s at stake here is that to become successful in writing you’ve got to put in the work and find your own path. You can’t win through imitation or by following in someone’s footsteps only. You’ve got to put yourself into your own writing if that makes sense.

  2. “Writing is lonely. Writing is tough. Writing is easy. Writing is a contradiction. One thing that will never change is that writing and reading as much as possible are beneficial to the process.”

    I like this part πŸ™‚ well said

  3. This kind of reminds me of learning to sing. I am, fundamentally, a non-singer and became vocally self-aware in my early teens. My wife is a natural and my daughters picked up the talent at young ages too. For them, singing is easy – you just open your mouth and out it comes. Sure, you can then polish the technique, learn about breathing and ‘head voice’ and ‘chest voice’ (nope, no idea), but they’ve got the basics without really trying.
    I am not them.
    I had to learn to hear (getting a guitar helped) and then train my vocal chords through hours of car-based commuting. (Luckily, I was the only occupant).
    I’m now confident enough to be in a play where we have to sing, live, on stage at the end. (It’s only am-dram, not the West End).
    So my singing journey isn’t the same as theirs. And my writing journey won’t be the same as anyone else’s either. And I’ll probably hit a few bum notes along the way…

  4. I agree with you 100%. Writing is lonely, that is why I chose the name for my blog. Regarding your opening point about inspiration, I have tried to find it all around me everyday. A statue, pidgeons, the blue skies, rainfall, and couples holding hands all can provide inspirations and ideas for posts. The old writing trick of “what if” can do the same. Good post my friend.

Please, type what you think

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s